Friday, August 13, 2010

More Yellow

After last week's post about a new yellow house on Arlington Avenue, I realized I had photos of other yellow houses in Centretown, which I'd might as well share.

But first, some updates on Ottawa's most famous (and most yellow) Yellow House...

As has been documented elsewhere (specifically at Watawa Life, twice, and at Neatorama), a black zig-zag stripe was painted on the Cambridge Street North side of the house, with the words, "Grief Ain't Good," a reference to Charlie Brown's shirt and his catchphrase, "Good Grief!"

The text was painted over shortly thereafter, but the black stripe left a bit longer. In this shot, with the two dormer windows, it looks more like a yellow Pac-Man ghost. I think the yellow sticker on the parking sign is a nice touch.

The stripe was painted over also, leaving what should be a blank yellow canvas, but what is really a patchwork of miscellaneous yellow blotches.

A couple weeks ago, I was heading down that way near sunset. The light and the sky had some very vivid colours. You can also see that the crackled paint on the window leaves some interesting shadows on the inside far wall.

On that visit, I noticed these two books in the front window, amusingly titled, "Don't Wait to Buy a House - Buy a House and Wait." Looking back at my old photos, these have been there since at least May 2009, which is the earliest photo I have of after October 2008, when the windows were still painted.

The uniformity of the yellow masks some of the architectural elements of the house. But the low angle of the sun also brings them out. Like the arch above the front door:

Which makes for a decent enough segue to the first of the other yellow houses in Centretown:

This one is Fresco Cielo, an Italian bistro on Elgin between Waverley and Frank. Not only is the building yellow, there is a yellow car driving by! (Pure Gelato, next door, also has a yellow storefront, but only on the first storey.)

The building is technically not a house, it's a restaurant. Prior to this restaurant being founded in 1991, my sources tell me this building previously housed a greasy spoon, a Chinese restaurant, and a firehall. (Note: I haven't bothered to verify this information.)

The next house is the home of Pierre Amelotte International, a hair loss treatment centre, right next to the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre. It used to be an ordinary enough red-brick house, until it underwent extensive renovations to add floors. The transformation isn't quite as stark as the Echo Drive house, as the original parts of the building are still red brick.

This house made some cameos in this post on the Metropolitan Bible Church demolition, and its yellow rear is visible through a driveway off McLeod in this Hallowe'en 2008 post.

The next one is on Bay at James: Powers House, built around 1887. It was renovated extensively in 1915 by architect Francis C. Sullivan, who added his distinctive Prairie stylings. This is just a sneak peek of the narrow side of the house; I'll do a more extensive post on this house another time.

It was this photo that I saw in my "unsorted" pile that got me to write this post. It's 857 Somerset Street West, in Chinatown (technically in Dalhousie, not Centretown). It's next door to the Somerset Travel Agency.

This building stuck out at me very prominently when I took the photo in June, and I assumed it had recently been painted yellow. But to my surprise, the yellow was always there, hidden in plain sight by a red awning banner for Pho Bo Ga King, as revealed by Google Street View, whose photos are from Spring 2009:

I must have just never seen it zipping down the hill on my bike, or struggling back up it.

As such, there are probably other yellow houses in Centretown that I've missed. I'm only counting the garish painted-yellow ones, not yellow-brick buildings like this pretty one at 307 Gilmour, which houses law offices. Its brickwork was repaired last winter:

If you know of other yellow houses in Centretown, leave a comment below!


  1. "The Firestation" was a nightclub that is now know as "Nine"

  2. Not quite Centretown, but I did used to live in a yellow-brick building in the Market (which doesn't show up well on StreetView, sadly). And no, I don't live there anymore, so any attempts at stalking would be wasted.